Having grown up in Los Angeles, my memories of apple picking, roaming through orchards and baking apple pie from scratch are scarce. But bobbing for apples was a Halloween tradition. And though I usually skipped apples in favor of tooth-decaying candy, today, Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths are part of my daily repertoire — for good reason.MORE FROM SELF: 38 Antiaging FoodsResearch confirms that red, green, pink and golden apples are nutritional powerhouses and potent disease-fighters. Even more compelling, if not ironic, the once-forbidden fruit (think the Garden of Eden and Snow White) is loaded with fiber, flavonoids and important antioxidants — all of which bestow good health and age-defying effects. According to the U.S. Apple Association, there are more than 2,500 varieties of apples in the United States.MORE FROM SELF: The Easiest Way to Lose 2 Pounds a WeekGlobally, there are as many as 7,500 different apple varieties — and the number is constantly changing as new varieties are being developed in response to consumer demand. A few of our favorites:1. Red Delicious: Research shows that this gem packs the most powerful disease-fighting punch among eight varieties tested — six times more than the bottom-ranked Empire.Bright red with a waxy finish, these apples are great for snacking, but not so good for cooking.2. Pink Lady: True to its namesake, the Pink Lady has firm, pale pink flesh and yellow and pink skin — perfect for snacking and cooking.MORE FROM SELF: 3 CrossFit Workouts!3. Braeburn: With a light olive green color overlaid with red, this apple’s crisp texture and sweet flavor make for excellent applesauce with little need for added sugar.4. Granny Smith: Great for pies, muffins, cobbler and applesauce, this apple is especially tart. It also makes a tasty accompaniment to salads and pork.Head over to Self.com for the rest of the list!